Talks continue but postal strike will likely affect holiday rush
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Packages given to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers by Canada Post on Wednesday contained anything but the usual yuletide exchanged this time of the year.
The 26 negotiation packages contain various files in specific contractual language which must be responded to before formal talks can continue, said Canada Post spokesperson Jean-Maurice Filion.
So far Canada Post has received responses on half of the packages yet Filion said they are wondering why the rest have not reached their offices more quickly. "We are trying to find some common ground and see if both parties can decide on a formal agreement."
Chris Lawson, a communications specialist for CUPW, said information proposed in the negotiation packages was somewhat disappointing and resembled similar proposals made during the summer.
The information was also very in-depth and required much scrutiny due to the fact the documents are legally binding and once signed, will dictate working conditions for years to come, he added.
Picketing has been occurring in shifts with the first one from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. yet some postal workers, such as Londoner F. Langrell, decided to stick to their stations in the afternoon.
Langrell said the main results of a reduction in workers will not only be an increased workload for employees already working hard, but Canada Post will also be making more money allowing them to privatize.
Employee solidarity on the picket line has been attributed to negotiating tactics by Canada Post, like their decision to hold a news conference instead of getting back to the union, Lawson said. "This has hardened our resolve to win or negotiate a good contract despite the shenanigans of Canada Post."
Students and retailers on campus, however, may feel the brunt of this solidarity. Tricia Carlaw, supervisor of the postal outlet in the basement of the University Community Centre, said international students will be most affected by the strike because of approaching deadlines for sending packages by airmail. These students should be aware Dec. 1 is the last day to send a small package overseas for it to reach its destination and Dec. 8 is the last day to send a letter.